March 26th, 2009
Submitted by UAN Emergency Services Manager Janell Matthies
Everyone has officially left the shelter and the silence is strange. Just yesterday it was filled with barking, yipping, howling, meowing and chirping. The turtles were the only ones not making much noise. Today it is silent and the wind is blowing through the barn, making the puppy potty pads blow around. We are pretty much done breaking down everything and the trucks are loaded up. Again, the silence is almost eerie. It doesn’t seem possible that 24 hours ago the place was filled with 361 animals.
I just received a call from Bella Vista Animal Shelter with an update on my buddy, the Akita. They have named him Ben (as in “Gentle Ben”). They took him to his indoor/outdoor run yesterday and showed him how to go through the extra-large doggie door to the outside. He cautiously stepped through the door and started to investigate. After making his rounds and peeing on a few things, he plopped down, put his nose in the air and smelled the wind. He stayed like that for hours, just letting the fresh air blow around him. The staff tried to get him back inside for the night, but he didn’t want to go. They think he was worried he may not be able to come out again. They put some blankets outside and left him there for the night. This morning when they went to check on him, he was still outside, sound asleep on his blankets.
Ben has quickly won over the staff at the shelter and approaches everyone. If they stop petting him, he noses them and asks for more. One of the girls gave him a little piece of roast beef last night and he could not figure out what to do with it. He’d pick it up and put it down, sniff it and move it around before finally eating it, then deciding he wanted more. They plan to move him into the office during business hours and back to his “quarters” at night. He is definitely a character and I’m so very thankful to everyone who made it possible to give this boy a real second chance.